Robust trading in savings and mortgages at Yorkshire Building Society

Susan Allen

Yorkshire Building Society says a record number of savings accounts were opened with it last year, as it releases its annual financial results today.

A total of 693,000 savings accounts were opened in 2023 (2022: 537,000) and savings balances from members increased to £47.1bn (2022: £42bn).

Also, the building society provided 44,000 new residential mortgages (2022: 47,000) and mortgage balances increased to £46.8bn (2022: £45.2bn), despite a market which has seen mortgage lending drop by almost 30%.

Strong trading performance in both savings and mortgages, combined with the rising interest rate environment, supported an increase in core operating profit to £449.9m (2022: £425.6m). Statutory profit before tax for the year was £450.3m (£502.5m in 2022).

Susan Allen, chief executive, said: “More people are choosing us for their savings and, despite the mortgage market being much smaller in 2023, we increased our market share and one in three of our new owner-occupied mortgages was to a first-time buyer.

“As a mutual, we don’t have external shareholders so we can return more to our members.

“During 2023, the rates we offered were on average 1.01 percentage points higher than the market average, which equates to £441.1m additional interest paid to our savers – more than double the amount when compared to 2022. 

“The Society remains committed to maintaining a branch presence. Many of our members value the personal touch they receive in a branch, especially when they require support in more complex situations.

“We’re member-owned and our members tell us the branches are really important, but we have to make sure our branches are busy.”

She said the building society has paid to have Citizens Advice advisors on hand at 40% of its branches, which has had a positive impact on communities.

“The Society is in a robust financial position and we’re continuing to increase our customer satisfaction scores,” she said.

She added the uplift in the building society’s core profits had been encouraging, and gives it the opportunity to further invest for its members and help them build financial resilience.

Allen noted that while the Society is committed to its network of bricks and mortar branches, it has invested in its digital app which is also bringing in new customers.

She said the Society’s successful mortgage figures shows many people still want to pursue their dream of owning their own home, even in today’s difficult economic conditions.

But she said the Government, housebuilders and financial services industry all have a role to play in making it easier for people to get onto the housing ladder.

“It’s really important that we help people get those funds together for a deposit,” she said. “Interest rates and inflation are big determinants but there’s no single answer.

“We do need to create a more vibrant housing sector, so we need stable interest rates and inflation under control.”